Graeme Souness makes ‘painful’ Arsenal prediction that could mean ‘two difficult years’ for Mikel Arteta

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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal fans may have to prepare themselves for a “difficult couple of years” as Mikel Arteta continues his rebuild, according to Graeme Souness.

The Gunners followed up their Premier League opening-day loss at Brentford with a 2-0 reverse at home to Chelsea on Sunday, who rarely got out of second gear after the break at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal were once again badly affected by an outbreak of coronavirus cases in the camp, with Ben White, Willian and Alexandre Lacazette absent while captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was only fit enough to feature off the bench.

Souness, who was also tasked with trying to rebuild a club following years of success during his tenure as Liverpool boss in the 1990s, told Sky Sports: "I look at this Arsenal team and it might be the team for the next manager.

Watch: "Hopefully things will get better" - Arteta on Chelsea defeat

"As a manager, I have said time is not your friend.

"I see a difficult couple of years for Arsenal and it depends on how these young guys progress but, if they are sticking with Arteta, it will be a painful trip.

"But it doesn't matter if it is Arteta or someone else, it will be a painful trip because I don't see these guys being an influence when Chelsea come to town, when Man City come to town, when Liverpool and United come to town - and this is Arsenal Football Club.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

"Arsenal in recent history under (Arsene) Wenger enjoyed success and turned up most Saturday and Sunday afternoons and saw a team winning, so it is a hard pill to swallow for the fans right now."

Additional reporting by PA.

Watch: Arsenal - 2021/22 season preview

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